Despite the offense sputtering and the weather sprinkling, the Patriots had the Bengals right where they wanted them Sunday: pinned at their 2-yard-line, facing third and 15. Final minutes of the third quarter, Bengals leading, 6-3.
A stop would have forced a punt from the Cincinnati end zone, and likely set up the Patriots in great field position, looking for a go-ahead score, or at least a tying field goal.
What followed was the only touchdown drive of the game, a 93-yard Bengals march that spanned two quarters. In a 13-6 Cincinnati victory, it proved to be the difference.
The Bengals converted three times on third down on the deciding drive, and scored the touchdown on a 1-yard run by BenJarvus Green-Ellis on fourth down. Full story for BostonGlobe.com subscribers.